We experienced our first white water rafting trip with Sage this past July, and it was truly one of those experiences that will be a favorite lifetime memory. We went rafting with our two children (ages 4 and 7) and my in-laws (active in their 60s).
THE ADMINISTRATION: Sage answered lots of questions for us when originally booking the trip, such as my concern that our 4 year old would be bored on the river for 2 hours, and what we should and shouldn't bring. The cost of the trip was very reasonable (I would've paid more - the experience was THAT enriching for everyone).
THE DRIVE: The Sage bus picked us up promptly at 8:40AM with Britt and Laurel on the bus (Mike I believe was driving?) and after picking up a few more passengers, we were on a 50 minute drive to the river, nestled in what we learned was the alpine desert in Colorado. Britt and Laurel gave us advice what to bring (we had rain jackets which they said would be too hot -- though they were thin they warned the river would warm up and they were right!), and they pointed out a bunch of fascinating landmarks in the terrain, like a rock they call "Wizard Rock" and a place where, when the sun hits it, casts a perfect seahorse-shaped shadow on the face of a mountain. We had no idea that ride itself to get to the river would be so enjoyable and full of education for everyone in our party. We were dropped off at our hotel by 1:30PM.
THE GUIDE: After a brief safety session once we arrived, everyone put on their PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) and we were assigned a raft with our guide, Caleb. He was incredible. He was friendly, answered tons of questions, and gave us 2 hours full of rafting 101 information as well as an education on the surrounding environment. We learned why water forms whirlpools (edy walls), what kind of willow was on the shoreline, how the rapids change, what training he undergoes, and too much information to list. He was kind, patient with our kids, friendly, and just a person you could tell who loved his job and the company he worked for.
THE RAFTING: The best part of the trip was of course the rafting. We chose a class I/class II trip, which meant our guide Caleb was the only one rowing, and we just floated along for the ride. There were about 4-5 sections that were "class II" which meant small rapids, and each of these sections lasted no more than 30-40 seconds. It was just enough to get a beginner's trip under our belt, and we were craving more more more from the first moments on the river. Each raft has 'duckies' (inflatable kayaks) and a tube that you can opt to ride at any point during the 2 hour trip. Our 7 and 4 year old both took turns riding in the tube, which was attached to the raft, so it was simple for anyone to do. Our 7 year old was brave enough to get in the tube ahead of a class II section (Caleb was SURE to tell us when it was and wasn't safe for her to get in) and she had the ride of her life. It was peaceful, invigorating, beautiful and one of the best outdoor experiences I've ever had.
The scenery, the professionalism, the value, and the way Sage is run, I wouldn't hesitate to go back to them when we visit Colorado again one day. We will be ready for class II/III next time and can't wait. Thank you to Sage for truly showing us what Colorado has to offer with its inherent beauty and sense of adventure!
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